Paolo & Vova

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about Paolo Rossi and Vova Vershvovski.

Submitted: December 10, 2012

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Submitted: December 10, 2012

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“Touch me, just once.” Vova pleaded silently.

“Please, just… just stop it already Vova. You know this isn’t going to work…” I looked down at my shoes.

“It can work if you just let it, Paolo…” She now had tears streaming down her face; it was so pale that the water lines could’ve been seen from fifteen miles away.

“I have to go now, please…” Reluctantly I stepped back from Vova, trying to fight back my own wretched tears. She reached out to me.

“It doesn’t have to be this way, it really doesn’t. Please, think about what you’re doing! Paolo, don’t leave me! I’m begging you!” Vova fell to her knees, clutching her hair by the handfuls, on the verge of screaming.

“Goodbye, Vova.” I ran out of her house, knowing if I had stayed there any longer I too would start screaming and crying. I wasn’t even five blocks down the street before I heard her blood curdling screams. She sounded like she was being severely tortured with a pick axe or something.

I already knew I was making a terrible mistake by leaving her. I’ve never loved anyone like I’ve loved Vova. She was something else. And now, what was I doing? Leaving her behind per my father’s request…

“If you want to keep your place in like to inherit the family business someday, I suggest you tell this Vova woman goodbye. I won’t have you fuck up our family blood line with some Russian barbarian of a woman, you understand me? Now go, Paolo.” My father’s words kept replaying, over and over again in my head.

At this point, I felt more now that I was choosing money over Vova… I tried my best to look at all aspects of it. We were only in our twenties, still had a lot to live for in life. We were just a minor stepping stone in each other’s paths. But oh what stones we were; her especially. Vova was that one special stone you’d find on the ground next to a beach. The smoothest one, well-rounded, perfect for skipping. Then, before I knew it, with a snap of my wrist, I let her go. There she went, bouncing across the water, away from me, as far as she could go until she eventually sank.

Now that’s just how I felt, like I was sinking. Probably be better off that way.

I pondered all my thoughts while walking along the bridge, overlooking the beautiful, sparkling water. My feet stopped walking, and turned towards the edge. For a good twenty minutes, I just stared at the water, wondering what was at the bottom. What discoveries were yet to be made? Maybe there was a sea monster down there, or parts of an abandoned ship no one ever knew about… or perhaps there was a whole different world down there, in the deep depths. It had to be a better one than the one I’m currently living in.

A world without Vova Vershvovski just wasn’t one that seemed worth walking. Sure, I could be paired up with one of the women my family always makes me dance with at big parties and local charity events, but really I do not wish to marry any of them. None of them were unique. They didn’t have that sparkle to in their eyes like her ones of pale green did. They didn’t have the perfect black curls that poured down their lower back… nor did they have lips that made you ache with just one brush up against yours.

No, my Vova was something else- something out of this world that had somehow made its home here.

Then, I knew what I had to do. I had to go back to Vova. Tell my father that he was a madman if he thought I was going to give her up. And that’s exactly what a madman would do! Give up something as delicate, breathtaking, eccentric, and gorgeous as Vova.

I immediately turned back in the direction I originally ran from to go back to her. But I turned too quickly. A man on moped was driving on the road, but seemed to have hit some sort of bump or crack in the pavement and went flying off his moped. He flew right into me, sending us both over. I hit the back of my head against the brick, and fell down into the water.

“Is he okay? Is he? Mr. Rossi, please let me see him!” Vova grabbed onto Mr. Rossi’s shirt and begged. He gave her a doubtful look and shook his head.

“My son,” he sighed. “Is not in good shape. Hit his head, quite hard on the brick wall on the bridge. The back of his got completely gashed.”

“But- but how did it happen?” Vova stuttered.

“The moped man,” he spoke through his thick Italian accent. “He hit something, something in the road. Not quite sure exactly what, but he flew. Flew right off the bike and went over the bridge with my son.”

Vova wiped her eyes. Her eye liner was running all down her face. Mrs. Rossi handed her a tissue.

“Vova può tornare in due ore.” Mrs. Rossi said. “Ma lei si deve pulire prima di allora.”

“My wife, she says that you can come back in two hours. But get yourself clean up before you return. If Paolo wakes up, we don’t want that stained face of yours to be the first thing he sees, alright?” Mr. Rossi sighed and shook his head, and then shoved his hands in his pockets.

“Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!” Vova left the hospital to clean herself up.

Shortly after Vova left, a nurse came into the hallway and yelled for Mr. and Mrs. Rossi.

They came into the room that Paolo was staying in. The top of his head was wrapped in bandages, with little bits of blood seeping through.

“The doctor will be right with you.” The nurse spoke and left. Shortly after, a tall, husky dark-haired man entered with a clipboard.

“Mr. Rossi?” he looked up.

“Yes, that’s me.” Mr. Rossi held out his hand for a shake. “What is the status of my son’s condition?”

“Well,” the doctor sighed. “I- I’m really sorry to have to tell you this… but when he hit his head…”

“Just please tell us already, we can’t wait any longer.” Mr. Rossi said.

“The fall of the bridge, when he smacked against the water caused him to have internal bleeding in his stomach, liver, and his head. It’s advanced much too far…” the doctor laid his eyes on Paolo. “Even if we sent him into surgery now, it would be no use.”

“Quanto tempo ci resta con lui?” Mrs. Rossi began to cry silently.

“I’d say about an hour. Maybe a little more. It all depends on if his body fights or not. But seeing as his condition is only getting worse by the second, I wouldn’t put my money on more than an hour. I’m sorry.” The doctor took one final look at Paolo and left the room.

Mr. and Mrs. Rossi sat in Paolo’s hospital room, watching him, and listening to nothing but the shuffling of nurses outside the door and the steady paced beeps coming from the machine hooked up to their son. It had been half an hour since they were told Paolo’s fate. Mrs. Rossi stood up and went to his bedside, and removed the cross that dangled from a chain around her neck, and then looked up at the ceiling while whispering a silent prayer to herself.

It was now forty minutes since they were given the news. Mr. Rossi thought to himself about all the things he’d done to prevent his son from following his dreams, all the times he told him he was a fool… but he quickly realized that no longer any of it would matter. What had been done was now the past, and Mr., Rossi now needed to focus his attention on holding his sons hand while he passed. The thought of that brought tears to his eyes.

Fifty minutes. Not much time left… Mrs. Rossi began to feel a sense of guilt from the fact that Vova would not be here to tell him goodbye while he could still hear her, and feel her touch. Although she desperately wanted to leave now to go get Vova, she knew that she would not make it back in time to say goodbye herself. She went down on her knees and rested her face on Paolo’s hand.

“Ti voglio bene, figliolo.” She whispered.

Then, it began. The machine started going crazy; the beeping sounds getting quicker and louder by the second. Nurses came rushing in, followed by the doctor. They yelled over each other, throwing around demands. Everyone was becoming flustered, until the doctor ordered them to be silent. With a heavy sigh, he stood at the foot of Paolo’s bed and waited for the machine to silence itself on its own.

At 2:52 pm, July 22nd, 2012, Paolo Alexander Rossi was pronounced dead.

Vova

I brushed out my long black hair furiously. There were so many damn knots; they were next to impossible to get out! Well, I guess they were going to get as undone as they could be right now, so screw it.

Quickly I threw on an ill-planned outfit and went out my front door. Five minutes later, I was able to flag down a cab and be on my way to the hospital to see Paolo. This would be the longest drive of my life, not knowing whether or not I would arrive and be able to greet Paolo warm-heartedly, or if I’d arrive just in time to see the nurses taking his body out of the room.

I was completely anxiety ridden. By the time we finally got there, my fingers had bite marks all over them from chewing on my skin, and my hair was twisted all sorts of ways. The cab driver held out his hand for the fair, and I tipped him graciously and darted out of the car, leaving him to yell behind me, “Mam! You gave me too much!”

The sliding doors opened for me as I approached. Luckily the woman from earlier was still working at the front desk, and remembered who I was, making it so I didn’t need to check-in or verify myself. But when she made eye contact with me, it was different this time. It was almost as if she had this look of pity…

Of course, the elevators were taking forever. When it opened, four people were being rolled out. I gave them each a kind smile and squeezed through to get going. I pressed number four, and ignored a woman who yelled for me to hold the elevator for her.

I got out of the elevator, and immediately saw Mrs. Rossi standing in the hallway. She hadn’t seen me yet.

“Mrs. Rossi!” I yelled, waving to her. When I got up closer to her, I could see the emotional state that she was in. “Mrs. Rossi… is everything okay?”

She motioned for me to enter the room.

When I walked in, I felt a rush of cold air go up and down my spine. There, lying in bed, motionless and pale, was Paolo. His dad was by his bedside.

“Mr. Rossi… please tell me he’s just sleeping.” I whispered.

“I wish,” he sighed. “I wish I could.”

“No, no, no…” I collapsed onto the floor. “No!”

“Vova, please, control yourself!” Mr. Rossi said in a hushed voice.

“He’s dead, he’s really dead!” I cried out.

“Dear, please, come here.” Mr. Rossi said.

I remained on the floor.

“Alright, you stay right there then.” He said. “I have a confession to make… I was not good to Paolo, when it came to you and him. From the very beginning, I thought he needed to stay away from you. And I pushed him every single day to leave you. That’s why he came and saw you today.”

“What?” I brought my head up.

“He wasn’t breaking up with you because he didn’t love you. Believe me Vova; I’ve never seen a man in such a foolish state of love than I have my Paolo.” Mr. Rossi wiped his eyes.

I started to feel numb. Slowly, I brought myself to my feet.

“Come here now please,” he motioned.

Not taking my eyes off Paolo’s face, I went to his bedside.

“He was wearing this when he first came in,” Mr. Rossi held out a small golden locket to me. “I want you to keep it.”

“What’s inside of it?” I sniffled.

“Why don’t you open it and find out.” He stared and waited for me to open it up.

When I did, it was a picture of Paolo and I. We had taken it together the first time we had ever met. It was at a festival, and he had asked me to dance… the rest was history.

“Thank you, Mr. Rossi. This means a lot to me…” I fought back my tears. “What do we do now?”

“Mrs. Rossi and I will make arrangements for his funeral and such,” Mr. Rossi stood up. “But you, Vova. You’ll move on. Eventually you will. I’ve known since the first time I met you, that you’re a very strong woman. Very bull-headed too.” He smiled.

“You really think so?” I asked.

“Don’t second guess it, okay? I knew my son the second best out of anyone on the planet, and I know for a fact that he wants you to go on to live a happy, normal life. But that doesn’t mean you should never keep him in mind. He’ll always be there though, whenever you need to talk.” Mr. Rossi headed for the door, hands in his pockets.

“Wait, you said you were the second person who knew him the best… who’s the first?” I asked, puzzled.

“A woman named Vova Vershvovski.” He said without turning to look at me.

I put the necklace around my neck and took one of Paolo’s hands in mine. For the last time, I studied his defined jaw line. The way the dark brown curls in his hair flew about all over the place.

“Paolo,” I whispered. “Someday, not soon, but someday, I’m going to move on. But I’ll never forget you. You were my everything. The reason I had for getting up every day… but now- now I’ll have to find a new reason. And I hope you can help me find it. I love you Paolo. Rest now, please.”


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